Detroit's First Legal Drag Race Is Happening Today!

The Motor City is getting its first legal drag racing event! The Motor City Showdown is happening on September 23, 2017 at the Coleman A. Young International Airport on the city’s east side. According to The Detroit Free Press, the event is being put on by professional Hot Rod Association Driver Brian Olatunji, a native of Detroit, in partnership with Leadfoot Events.

The Motor City Showdown boasts “wheel standing, fire breathing 2,000 plus horsepower cars and the fearless stars who drive them,” according to the event’s website. Gates open at 3:00 PM, beginning with a car show that runs until 9:00 PM. Racing activities will also be occurring from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, with the event conclusion at 9:00 PM. The races will taking place on a ⅛ mile drag racing track.

Detroit Car Crash Lawyer

There will be plenty for guests to do in addition to watching the events. Guests can get up close and personal with the cars and their drivers, as well as classic vehicles that will be on display. Taste of Detroit and local food truck vendors will also be on site to provide guests with food and drink options throughout the day.

If purchasing online, tickets for the event are $20 for adults, and free for kids under age 12. If purchasing onsite the day of, adult tickets are $25. Secure parking is $10. The event is located at 11499 Conner St, Detroit, MI 48213.

While this is the first drag racing event taking place within the city limits, Roadkill Nights in Pontiac, Michigan re-launched last year, was the first legal drag racing event to take place on Woodward Ave and was sponsored by Dodge.

While it is sure to be fun and exciting to watch the events at The Motor City Showdown, it’s important to remember that these drivers are professionals, taking place in a legal drag racing event. Drag racing on public roads is both illegal and dangerous. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog, recently wrote about an illegal drag race between a go-kart and motorcycle that took the life of one of the drivers. Have fun, enjoy the shows, but don’t try this at home. A joy ride is not worth getting in a car crash and potentially risking your life and the life of others on the road.


Drag racing is illegal, and should never be attempted. Drag racing puts the lives of both the driver and others on the road at risk. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident involving someone who was driving dangerously or illegally, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Go-kart And Motorcycle Involved In Drag Racing Accident

An accident in August 2017 in Detroit left one dead and one seriously injured. The accident was not a typical automobile collision however, as it involved a go-kart and a motorcycle. The drivers of the two vehicles were apparently drag racing (also known as street racing), along French Road on the Detroit's east side and according to the Detroit Free Press, were reaching speeds of up to 100 mph. Witnesses say the go-kart made a U-turn, ending up directly in the path of the motorcycle, which was what resulted in the automobile collision. The 21-year-old man driving the go-kart died and the 31-year-old man driving the motorcycle was seriously injured. Both drag racing and driving a go-kart on public streets are illegal in the State of Michigan.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Go-karts are not “street legal” vehicles. They are mostly driven on private tracks and in large backyards. In order for go-karts to be deemed street legal, they need to undergo thousands of dollars worth of modifications. These modifications include adding headlights, turn signals, a windshield, tail lights, seat belts, a parking brake, rear view mirrors, license plates, a speedometer, an odometer, and a horn. More so, a go-kart is not allowed to reach speeds over 25 mph, which would be achieved through engine modification. It would also need auto insurance. Due to the time and money required to make these modifications, most go-karts are usually not street legal.

Like go-karts, drag racing on public streets is also illegal in the State of Michigan, but is a relatively common occurrence throughout Detroit. Michigan law defines drag racing as “the operation of 2 or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerating speeds in a competitive attempt to out-distance each other” or “for the purpose of setting a speed record.” It appears as though the motorcycle crash in Detroit was caused by the drivers of the go-kart and motorcycle racing to a finishing point.

Detroit Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

It's for a good reason that drag racing is not legal, as it can be unsafe. There are many safety issues that arise from drag racing. Not only are the participating drivers at risk or being involved in a motor vehicle accident because there are no official rules and regulations, or any sort of safety provisions, but pedestrians are also at risk since there are no bleachers, guard rails, or any sort of crowd protection from powerful speeding vehicles. An additional cause of concern is that widespread use of drugs and alcohol that are typically known to be found at illegal drag racing events.

Unlike go-karts and drag racing however, operating a motorcycle is legal in the state of Michigan, but it still comes with risks. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in 2015 there were 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents - a 10% increase from 2014. Also in 2015, motorcyclist deaths increased in 31 states. Currently, only 19 states plus the District of Columbia require motorcyclists to wear helmets. Michigan is not one of them. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog recently discussed how the state's motorcycle helmet law was repealed in 2012. Motorcyclists groups supported the repeal of the law, calling it an individual rights issue, even though wearing a helmet has been repeatedly shown to keep motorcyclists safer. The GHSA is one of the groups who supports mandatory helmet laws, and has provided the following safety tips for motorcyclists.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Michigan Motorcycle Crash Attorney
  • Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, even when not required by state law.
  • Wear bright-colored clothing to make it easier to be seen by other drivers.
  • Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Obey posted speed limits.
  • When purchasing a new motorcycle, opt for a model with antilock brakes. These have been shown to decrease fatal motorcycle crashes by preventing a motorcycle's wheels from locking during braking, and assisting with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle.

While following these tips does not guarantee motorcycle accidents won’t happen, they may help decrease the likelihood of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Drag racing , unless it's on Roadkill Nights, and operating a go-kart on a public street, unless it's been modified and certified to be legal, however are big no-nos. These activities can be extremely dangerous and come with the risk of being involved in automobile crashes. Not only are the drivers of the vehicles put at risk, but so are other drivers, and pedestrian bystanders as well.


Drag racing is usually illegal and can have deadly consequences. If you have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free personal injury or motor vehicle accident consultationLet our attorneys handle your legal situation while you focus on recovering. 

Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights Safety Tips

Classic cars all over Michigan are being dusted off and tuned up in preparation for the return of the annual Woodward Dream Cruise, which officially kicks off this Saturday, August 19, 2017! This weekend long event is the largest single day celebration of automobiles in the world, attracting over one million spectators and over 40,000 classic vehicles, according to the Detroit Free Press. The Dream Cruise sparks many mixed emotions every year. For fans of the annual event, it is an extended weekend of awesome, classic cars showing off their muscle and style for the city that created the automotive industry. As for the individuals who dread the Dream Cruise, the event only means nearly a full weekend of traffic and detours on roads connected to Woodward Avenue.

Woodward Dream Cruise Car Crash Lawyer

While all of the discussions surrounding the Dream Cruise revolve around excitement or dreading traffic, the one issue that is not generally discussed is safety. It's peculiar that car accident and pedestrian accident safety are the elephant in the room when discussing an event involving thousands of vehicles. In other words, the Woodward Dream Cruise is an event that presents a lot of safety risks and accident dangers if one is not paying attention to their surroundings.

Last year, per CBS Detroit, a day before the official Dream Cruise date, a southbound vehicle lost control and ended up crossing the median, taking out a portable bathroom in its path, and then crashing head on with a northbound vehicle. Thankfully, only two cars were involved in the crash and no one was injured. Yet, it is only more reason for both spectators and cruisers to be cautious this year.

Woodward Dream Cruise Car Accident Lawyer

As reported by Detroit Free Press, Roadkill Nights is also returning this year, one week before the Woodward Dream Cruise, this Saturday, August 12, 2017. Roadkill Nights is a legal street racing event sponsored by Dodge that will take place on a closed off section of Woodward Avenue. This year will mark the event's 3rd year and will take place on August 12th. Attendees should take even more precaution during this event as on top of having tons of cars present, this event also involves cars speeding down Woodward avenue. 

Watching these cars show off their style while cruising, or speed while racing, can be quite a spectacle. Differences between the two events aside however, since both the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights are car related events, safety is the number one priority in order to minimize the many safety risks. Below are some tips for both spectators and drivers to follow to ensure safe and enjoyable weekends. These tips have been consolidated from Woodward Dream Cruise enthusiasts including The Detroit News, The Oakland Free Press, and Hagerty.

Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Night Safety Tips For Spectators

  • Always be aware of your surroundings. There will be cars everywhere so make sure you know whether they are parked or getting ready to be driven.
  • Do not watch cars while standing or sitting on the medians as they are meant to remain clear for police, and as the porta potty incident mentioned above points out, medians are not exactly safe. 
  • If you plan to sit and watch the cars, make sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated! It is the middle of August after all!
  • Always keep a safe distance away from the road. Make sure to keep an eye out for any unsupervised children that may be hanging around too close as well.

Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Night Safety Tips For Drivers

Woodward Dream Cruise Accident Safety Tips
  • Keep your head on a swivel and always be aware of pedestrians. 
  • Drive at a low speed if you are anywhere near Woodward Avenue, especially if you are cruising.
  • If you are cruising do not expect to go fast. Keep calm and remain a patient driver.
  • Know which lane to drive. It is a general rule of thumb that non-cruisers should use the left two lanes, while cruisers use the right two lanes so they are more visible to spectators. 
  • For Dream Cruisers, performing burnouts, squealing tires and drag racing are all prohibited and could result in a hefty fine.
  • Know that cars can overheat due to hot weather, so moderate your car’s engine.
  • Absolutely do not drink and drive! Btoh events are alcohol-free and drinking laws will be enforced.

Whether you are a fan of the Woodward Dream Cruise or just counting down the days until Woodward Avenue returns to normal, understand that the event draws over one million spectators. There are many safety risks and car crash and pedestrian accident possibilities that are present when such a large number of people gather to enjoy the sight of thousands of motor vehicles. These risks may be minimized if spectators and drivers both take cautionary safety measures for themselves and each other. So, stay safe and enjoy the 2017 Woodward Dream Cruise and the 2017 Roadkill Nights!


The Woodward Dream Cruise weekend is full of awesome spectacles of stylish rides and muscle cars, but also presents motor vehicle accident risks due to the number of vehicles in attendance. It is important for both drivers and spectators to be conscious of each other's safety. If you or anyone you know has been hit by a car or has been in a car accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.